Weather can be unpredictable and change course in the blink of an eye.

It is important to be prepared for when cold temperatures hit and cause icy roads, power failures, and potential loss of communication. Stay safe by listening to weather reports during winter storms and planning ahead.

Supplies

Keeping ample supplies on hand can prevent shortages while hunkering down during a storm. Stocking up on necessities such as water and non-perishable foods can be critical to survival. More often than not, power outages occur during a winter storm. This can cut off any communication, therefore having batteries and chargers to power cellphones and radios can give you the help you need in case of an emergency. If you’re on the road, keeping a windshield scraper, shovel, jumper cables, map, and flashlight are some of the supplies that might come in handy during a storm.

Warmth

Temperatures can drop drastically during the winter months. Prevent hypothermia and frostbite by staying warm with proper clothing. Whether you’re at home or in your vehicle, having dry clothes that you can layer will keep your body heat close and protect you from the elements. Blankets are another great source of warmth. Keeping extra fuel in your vehicle and on hand will give you the ease of mind that your source of heat will not run out in the near future. Make sure your fireplace, furnace, or wood stove is in working order will ensure heat is entering your home. Backup generators are also a good idea if your area is prone to storms.

Safety

Emergency supplies are crucial in the midst of a snow storm. Keeping adequate inventory of items like emergency kits, flashlights, and fire extinguishers can prevent further complications. Fires can easily get out of hand when they are a secondary source of heat. Avoid falls and other hazards by keeping a flashlight on hand to enhance visibility when the power is out.

Keep yourself and your loved ones up-to-date on current weather conditions. Plan ahead by strategizing an emergency plan and map it out. Practice this plan to make sure everyone is comfortable and knows what to do when a winter storm strikes.

- Information for this article was submitted by Menards.